Friday, June 5th, 2015

Moeen And Mitchell Flay Steelbacks Attack As Rapids Chalk Up Second Win

Moeen And Mitchell Flay Steelbacks Attack As Rapids Chalk Up Second Win

Openers Moeen Ali hit and Daryl Mitchell helped Worcestershire Rapids rewrite the record books as they overcame Northamptonshire Steelback by 14 runs in a high scoring encounter at Wantage Road.

Moeen and Mitchell hammered the home attack to the tune of 131 runs in just 12.5 overs as the Rapids amassed 211-3 – the highest ever score on the ground in T20 cricket.

It was their second successive win in the competition and now they tackle Notts Outlaws at New Road on Sunday afternoon (2.30pm start).

The Rapids opening duo made Rory Kleinveldt pay dearly for dropping them at slip when they were on nought and one respectively – both off the bowling of David Willey.

Moeen took full toll of the Northants bowlers in making 90 off just 50 balls with five sixes and 11 fours.

But Mitchell also made a valuable contribution of 43 from 31 deliveries before he was first out, bowled off a bottom edge by Shahid Afridi.

Moeen looked set to complete a memorable century in his first innings since being released by England to play for his county ahead of the forthcoming Ashes series.

But Northamptonshire captain Alex Wakely took a brilliant one-handed catch back-pedalling to extra cover after Moeen drove at Steven Crook.

Colin Munro (17), Tom Kohler-Cadmore (30 not out from 18 balls ) and Ross Whiteley (20 not out from nine balls) ensured the momentum was maintained right to the end of the Rapids innings.

Joe Leach made an important early breakthrough in dismissing Willey for 12.

The Steelbacks second wicket pair of Richard Levi (42) and Josh Cobb (80) added 65 in six overs before the former fell to Saeed Ajmal in his first match for the Rapids with his remodelled action.

The 16th and 18th overs of the innings – bowled by Moeen and Saeed – saw an inventive piece of captaincy from Mitchell.

Wicketkeeper Ben Cox removed gloves and pads and was sent to fly-slip-short third man with no one standing up to the stumps.

Umpires Nick Cook and Graham Lloyd conferred at length and allowed play to continue.

The scoring rate gradually climbed for Northants who needed 57 off 23 balls when Afridi came to the wicket.

He hit two sixes off Joe Leach but Ajmal returned to have his Pakistani colleague caught by Moeen at long on for 15 with Josh Cobb falling two balls later in the same manner for 80.

Ajmal finished with 3-53 from his four overs and the Steelbacks closed on 197-7.

Leach and Jack Shantry collected two wickets apiece while Ed Barnard conceded only 31 runs in four overs, a fine effort in the context of such a high scoring game.

*Our thanks to Worcestershire CCC analyst Phil Mellish for the following facts and figures

– Worcestershire's total of 211-3 was their fifth highest in T20 cricket.

– It was Worcestershire's second score in excess of 200 v Northants, the other being 227-6 at Kidderminster in 2007 which is the county's highest T20 score.

– It was the eighth time Worcestershire have scored over 200 in T20 cricket but the first away from home.

– Worcestershire beat the previous highest T20 score at Wantage Road of 207-4 by Northants against Glamorgan in 2008.